When we last left Katniss Everdeen (played by Jennifer Lawrence) on the big screen, she was pondering life after her victory in The Hunger Games. When asked by Peeta (played by Josh Hutcherson) what is going to happen when they get back, Katniss replies, "I don't know.... I guess we try to forget."
Try all they might, neither Katniss nor Peeta are going to be able to forget their trials and tribulations from the first Hunger Games. (By the way, SPOILER ALERT for those who have chosen not to do the better thing and actually read the book...) President Snow (played by Donald Sutherland) is pissed that Katniss, a nobody from District 9, was able to defeat the system. To ensure that it doesn't happen again, President Snow has devised a new type of game for the Quarter Quell - the 75th Hunger Games. Instead of having a typical lottery and sending the plebs into battle once again, President Snow decides to send Katniss and Peeta back into the games, along with previous winners. Not only that, but President Snow has completely reinvented the arena, creating all kinds of new and deadly obstacles for the players to overcome.
In fact, one could say that the new arena is much like World Series baseball... Well, not quite. But there was perhaps not a better a better time nor place to debut the final trailer for The Hunger Games: Catching Fire than during one of America's most-watched sporting events. The trailer starts with Katniss going to her happy place - a tree. Once she quickly scurries to the top (even squirrels are jealous of her tree-climbing skills), the trailer cuts to President Snow observing Katniss in his room of monitors. During these scenes, we hear an ominous voice-over from President Snow: "Miss Everdeen, you fought very hard in the arena. But they were games. Would you like to be in a real war?"
From here, we see Katniss and Peeta arriving in at the player introductions once again, except this time with much better CGI-flames. The trailer then shows the districts on the verge of rebellion, a movement we first noticed toward the end of the first movie. At the end of this trailer, we see Katniss and Peeta in a tropical environment, altogether different from the wooded area in the first Hunger Games. We also get a glimpse into some of the new obstacles facing Katniss this time: mysterious fog, crazy baboon-looking monkey, and also invisible barriers... The trailer ends with Katniss cowering on the ground, showing her first signs of true mental lapse during the Hunger Games experience.
For those who have read the books, we realize the trailer is still very much a teaser as to the entirety of the second novel. For those who have only watched the first movie, the trailer shows much promise. There were many complaints concerning the first film, mainly directed toward the CGI effects and the shakey-cam. While this trailer did show some progress toward better CGI, the latter half of the film is still a hurried-montage of clips, making one wonder if the shakey-cam is going to make a reappearance. Hopefully with new director Francis Lawrence (director of Constantine), the film will do a better job at creating more dynamic characters and inducing less motion-sickness amongst the audience.
The Hunger Games: Catching Fire opens in theaters on November 22, 2013.
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